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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 02:20 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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My GM auto transmission did not like Dexron VI

This was my third drain and fill. The first one was done with original ATF - Texaco ETL 8072B, second and third ones with Castrol Dex 6. I went with Dex 6 because that's what BMW now recommends for GM hydromatic transmissions.

The result is not so good. The car now is sluggish, with slow, soft, long shifts. It feels like something is holding it back, as if climbing up the hill. No slipping , but does not feel right at all. Not good.

The level is fine, I'm an expert at doing this by now having done it 3 times.

I'm planning to drain and fill again with different ATF.

Just a warning - be careful what you put in your AT.
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2012, 03:23 PM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Alex-

I have a tranny filter and gasket sitting in my trunk pretty much for the very reason that i cannot decide on which fluid to put in my GM transmission. There are so many different opinions out there and its very difficult to come to a decision. Do you know yet what fluid you plan on switching to? Or have you heard any positive results from other people with the GM tranny and the fluid theyve gone with? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2012, 05:30 PM
CRJ900 CRJ900 is offline
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Actual GM Dexron 6 changed at 110000 miles. Current mileage 149000. No problems whatsoever. You probably have other issues with your tranny that a fluid change will not rectify
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2012, 07:07 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
This was my third drain and fill. The first one was done with original ATF - Texaco ETL 8072B, second and third ones with Castrol Dex 6. I went with Dex 6 because that's what BMW now recommends for GM hydromatic transmissions.

The result is not so good. The car now is sluggish, with slow, soft, long shifts. It feels like something is holding it back, as if climbing up the hill. No slipping , but does not feel right at all. Not good.

The level is fine, I'm an expert at doing this by now having done it 3 times.

I'm planning to drain and fill again with different ATF.

Just a warning - be careful what you put in your AT.
I doubt that is your transmission causing those symtoms SL. I believe you have a MAF or Throttle body or something else going on there. Dexron six is just another hydraulic fluid that meets previous spec. Worked fine on my daughters 2004 325ci.

However, did you ever do the memory reset? I read in this forum that you can turn the key on, engine off, depress gas pedal to the floor for 30 seconds and that resets the computer. So it doesn't drive like the person who was in it previously etc. I know that was probably you but would not hurt to try it.

I tried this on my wife's 323i and it seemed to get snappier afterward...i.e. slightly different shift points? not sure.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:02 PM
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Dexron VI claims to be backward-compatible with all previous versions....maybe the current "mix" that`s in the trans is having a weird effect....each one has a different coefficient of friction, which could be causing your problem.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:20 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Do not know yet guys...

A couple of things. I did reset the transmission adaptations with INPA and that actually might have caused a slightly negative versus positive result. After 122K the valve body and other hardware is not the same as new, so who knows.

I've spent some time today doing diagnostics in INPA. Everything looks normal. All the solenoids activated normally, wires checked OK, pressure controllers fine.

I was afraid my torque converter was acting up, but driving with INPA monitoring the torque converter revealed no abnormalities. I mean I could see it turning ON and then OFF, so TCC clutch seems to function normally.

I replaced 5 quarts of Dex VI with Castrol Multi Vehicle ATF (advanced Dex III ATF) to change the viscosity of Dex VI but no change so far...

Will post an update when it happens. I also think that it
might be something different than my transmission, but what a coincidence!
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2012, 09:24 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Dexron VI claims to be backward-compatible with all previous versions....maybe the current "mix" that`s in the trans is having a weird effect....each one has a different coefficient of friction, which could be causing your problem.
That's what I think too, Bob! Dex VI is 40% thinner than Dex III too, so friction is the word...
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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Nuts, this is not good news. My car has 70k on it and I'm starting to think about a fluid change, but I don't know what to do about the fluid. This is not a job I feel I can tackle myself, so it's going to be a one-time change at an indy shop yet to be determined.

Question: from some searching, it seems that some Dex VI fluids like Valvoline are full synthetic, but Castrol may not be. Could that be the difference? Thoughts?
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Last edited by jimvideopro; 11-14-2012 at 06:39 PM. Reason: more info
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:25 PM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Originally Posted by jimvideopro View Post
Nuts, this is not good news. My car has 70k on it and I'm starting to think about a fluid change, but I don't know what to do about the fluid. This is not a job I feel I can tackle myself, so it's going to be a one-time change at an indy shop yet to be determined.
OR, you could just sell the car to me and not have to worry about it. I'll give you $10.

(No Offense - I'm just being a jackass).
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:38 PM
schnecharl schnecharl is offline
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Dexron VI claims to be backward-compatible with all previous versions[img]*****************ca3[/img]
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:45 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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"Claims" being the operative word!
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:14 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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Originally Posted by halltristan View Post
OR, you could just sell the car to me and not have to worry about it. I'll give you $10.

(No Offense - I'm just being a jackass).
Thankfully, working in corporate America, I have a high tolerance for that
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:47 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Update. No change. I have replaced ALL Dex 6 with Castrol Import Multi Vehicle ATF. No change. Car still drives like crap. By that I mean a sluggish, non responsive throttle in other words loss of power. Transmission feels like it's shifting OK, nothing abnormal, no hesitation, no shutter, no slipping. I do not know what to do next. Change ATF to another brand? Change filter again? At this point I'm not sure if it's transmission (torque converter) related or not. No codes when scanned with INPA and Pa soft BMW scanner. Nothing. I just do not like to start throwing parts at it. So right now I'm doing nothing. But it's driving me crazy. All I know it all started after I changed the ATF with Castrol Dex6.
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:55 PM
newtothebimmer newtothebimmer is offline
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Can you tell me where you bought the oil pan gasket that goes around the top? Mine has 22 holes, and is metal, but for the life of me I cannot find the gasket for the oil pan. Mine broke off while I was doing my ATF change and I as well have put in Castrol import atf. I skipped the gasket part and just hooked everything back up. But I'm not sure if thats a smart idea now.

EDIT: 99 328i auto.

Last edited by newtothebimmer; 11-28-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-29-2012, 02:17 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Update. No change. I have replaced ALL Dex 6 with Castrol Import Multi Vehicle ATF. No change. Car still drives like crap. By that I mean a sluggish, non responsive throttle in other words loss of power. Transmission feels like it's shifting OK, nothing abnormal, no hesitation, no shutter, no slipping. I do not know what to do next. Change ATF to another brand? Change filter again? At this point I'm not sure if it's transmission (torque converter) related or not. No codes when scanned with INPA and Pa soft BMW scanner. Nothing. I just do not like to start throwing parts at it. So right now I'm doing nothing. But it's driving me crazy. All I know it all started after I changed the ATF with Castrol Dex6.
Drive it like you hate it and add 1/2 qt of B&M trick shift.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #16  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:02 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Update. No change. I have replaced ALL Dex 6 with Castrol Import Multi Vehicle ATF. No change. Car still drives like crap. By that I mean a sluggish, non responsive throttle in other words loss of power. Transmission feels like it's shifting OK, nothing abnormal, no hesitation, no shutter, no slipping. I do not know what to do next. Change ATF to another brand? Change filter again? At this point I'm not sure if it's transmission (torque converter) related or not. No codes when scanned with INPA and Pa soft BMW scanner. Nothing. I just do not like to start throwing parts at it. So right now I'm doing nothing. But it's driving me crazy. All I know it all started after I changed the ATF with Castrol Dex6.
Alex,
Did you check to ensure you did not disconnect or contaminate one of the electrical connectors on the tranny? I know from reading in these forums there is at least one connector, if disconnected, loose, or contaminated will cause limp mode...so it may be possible something like that can cause an issue like you are dealing with? but easy enough to remove connectors, spray with CRC QD contact cleaner and reconnect.
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2012, 07:26 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Update. My transmission is back to normal after I drained all of the Castrol fluid and filled it in with German Pentosin ATF1, fully synthetic, golden color ATF. The power is back, shifts great.
Now my transmission is sealed for life. I'm not touching this pos anymore after all that work and waste of money on fluid. I'm glad I found the compatible fluid that restored the normal operation though.
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:26 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Mine likes the factory fill. Ran into similar problems when I tried redline fluid in it. So it gets texaco when I change it. Cost more but it works flawless.
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2012, 10:35 AM
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halltristan halltristan is offline
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Mine likes the factory fill. Ran into similar problems when I tried redline fluid in it. So it gets texaco when I change it. Cost more but it works flawless.
Did you get the texaco from a dealer or did you get it elsewhere?
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Update. My transmission is back to normal after I drained all of the Castrol fluid and filled it in with German Pentosin ATF1, fully synthetic, golden color ATF. The power is back, shifts great.
Now my transmission is sealed for life. I'm not touching this pos anymore after all that work and waste of money on fluid. I'm glad I found the compatible fluid that restored the normal operation though.
Glad to see this situation is finally fixed! Now you see why BMW won't touch the darn things!
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  #21  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:21 AM
kevin5797 kevin5797 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Update. My transmission is back to normal after I drained all of the Castrol fluid and filled it in with German Pentosin ATF1, fully synthetic, golden color ATF. The power is back, shifts great.
Now my transmission is sealed for life. I'm not touching this pos anymore after all that work and waste of money on fluid. I'm glad I found the compatible fluid that restored the normal operation though.
Starless- now that you have had Pentosin for a few months- what is the verdict? Any problems?
I'm having similar issues after refilling with Dexron VI
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  #22  
Old 06-12-2013, 08:08 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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My GM auto transmission did not like Dexron VI

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin5797 View Post
Starless- now that you have had Pentosin for a few months- what is the verdict? Any problems?
I'm having similar issues after refilling with Dexron VI
Here is what I think. Many ATFs will be OK in GM transmission. And it's actually normal for a transmission to behave "a little differently" than before after the ATF change, due to different viscosity, friction modifiers, etc. Unfortunately for our GM transmission BMW contracted Texaco to make a custom ETL fluid that is very specific to the transmission. My GM transmission felt the best with that original juice.

Now to answer you question. I like Pentosin better than DEX VI but having said that its still a different feeling from Texaco etl 8072b. Now, transmission is working fine, no slipping or anything but it just still feels "different".

Some other things to consider. I reset my transmission adaptations which might not be the best thing to do after 100k because of the wear of the components and resetting to the original values might not help anything.

Another thing is the car is getting up there in mileage, 130k miles now. I will be doing another round of major maintenance in some 20k. So it can be that what I'm feeling (that lack of responsiveness) is not ATF related at all. We"ll see how it feels after new spark plugs, fuel filter , etc. The MAF is a suspect too. It seems that there is a difference with different air temperature and humidity.

Conclusion: something has been lost since the change of the ATF type, but seems to be within the "normal" range. Could be other things influencing the performance too.



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  #23  
Old 09-04-2013, 09:32 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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Thought i would chime in with my experience now that I've had my transmission fluid changed. My car is a 330 with the GM transmission. After reading Starless' excellent writeup on changing has fluid, and this later post, I was very concerned about mixing Dexron VI with what original different (8072B) fluid was left in the torque converter. But my car is at 80K and I had to do something and the cost to do multiple change was out of the question. Good news - my car feels as good, if not a little better than before. Shifts feel the same, and (based on the unreliable butt dyno) it feels like the car is just a bit more responsive to the accelerator. It could be just that the adaptations in the Steptronic were reset.

I don't know exactly what brand fluid was used except that it was Dex VI.
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  #24  
Old 05-29-2014, 11:34 PM
528i black-E 528i black-E is offline
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Wink check first

I had the same problem going up hills, so i did a transmission tune up,on my 2000 528I,now it runs smooth, I used castrol multi vehicles. I have a GM transmission with Dextron 3.. Make sure you have drained all oil on the torque converter and transmission,make sure you changed the filter and when filling back with new oil make sure your car is label to a straight position to get the accurate quantity of oil in your transmission!!!.

Last edited by 528i black-E; 05-29-2014 at 11:40 PM. Reason: add more info
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  #25  
Old 05-29-2014, 11:41 PM
528i black-E 528i black-E is offline
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You can check bad spar plugs if your transmission is ok.
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